Friday, 29 September 2023

Seif: Vote no on Measure C

The Governing Board of the Yuba Community College District on Oct. 10, 2019, voted to place a whopping $228.4 million bond measure on the March 3 ballot.

A bond measure seeks the permission of voters to borrow money by selling bonds (debt) that must be repaid, with interest (up to 12%), over decades from higher property taxes. At current (low) interest, the total repayment amount would be about double the $228.4 million.

The total repayment depends upon the interest rate at the time bonds are sold. In this instance, the measure contemplates the sale of millions of dollars in bonds each year. Interest rates may increase greatly and would be paid back for 30 years or more.

This is the third bond measure from this district in the last 14 years. The first was $190 million in 2006 from Measure J. The second was $33.6 million in 2016 from Measure Q. The $33.6 bond was just sold in Oct 2019 and will show up on your 2020 tax bill.

Measure C now proposes to authorize use of the next borrowed money on projects that were supposed to be accomplished under the 2006 and 2016 bond measures.

Instead of identifying just what projects would be funded, this bond measure only pledges to use the money raised for any of a broad range of purposes – guaranteeing virtually nothing. It would give the college district administrators and their board members vast discretion in spending or squandering the money.

The Yuba College District already has a $48 million pension debt and an aggregate debt service of $369 million since Nov 2000 Enactment of Prop 39. Adding more debt on top of the debt they already have is not fiscally sound management of the money we have already given them.

If this passes, your grandchildren will still be paying for the debt incurred today. Our children are already burdened with too much debt, let’s not add to it or to our grandchildren as yet unborn!

Tell the district to be fiscally responsible by voting no on Measure C.

James Seif lives in Yuba City, California.

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